Problem solution essay Final Draft.
GANG VIOLENCE IN AMERICAN SCHOOLS
There are approximately 27,900 gangs, with 774,000 members, impacting towns, cities, and communities across the United States. According to a recent bulletin released by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 23 percent of students aged 12 through 18 years reported presence of street gangs in their schools. Almost half (46%) of students in public schools reported street gang presence. In addition, 21 percent of students in suburban schools and 15 percent in rural schools reported presence of street gangs. According to a survey conducted by the National Parents' Resource Institute for Drug Education, 13.8 percent of American high school students joined a gang during the 1993-1994 school period (Manning). Schools have become prime recruiting grounds due to young gang members attending the schools. It is evident that gang members’ stake out their turfs in their territory, including the neighborhood school grounds (Wheeler & Baron, 1993). There is no universally accepted definition of a gang. Gang definitions continue to be debated by the nations most experienced and knowledgeable academicians who study gangs. A youth gang is considered as a collection of adolescents and young adults who interact frequently; are deliberately involved in illegal activities; share a common identity and typically adopt certain methods of identification and control. Gang violence negatively impacts schools to the extent of death. Deaths resulting from school violence are only part of the problem. Many young people experience nonfatal injuries. Some of these injuries are relatively minor and include cuts, bruises, and broken bones. Other injuries such as gunshot wounds and head trauma are more serious and can lead to permanent disability. Gang violence adversely affects the property value of a community since investors shy away from high risks areas. Elimination of gang violence requires a lot of resources and this creates severe budgetary constraints in the affected communities. Gang violence instills fear since people are constantly worrying about gang fights and violence. Exhortation schemes by gang members can bring the prices of commodities high since businesses have to make up for these losses by increasing prices. Effective mechanisms have been put forth to curb or end gang violence. The two most effective ways of ending gang violence are gang prevention programs and enforcing school uniforms to all schools and students. One effective way of ending gang violence in American schools is providing gang prevention programs. Gang prevention programs are programs that directly engage schools with law enforcements groups, local churches, and neighborhood watch groups with the aim of thwarting and ending gang violence. It helps provide for outreach programs intended to deter or curtail any gang related associations. Since students spend a lot of time in school, early warning signs of gang involvement can be identified and communicated to both parents and the support groups. These programs also create programs for in school and after school extracurricular activities and anti-gang lessons. Students involved in this activities are less likely to get time to engage in gang activities and unlikely to mess their bright future. There has been wide success in these programs. (National League pg. 33-37). According to Peter Greenwood “Prevention and Intervention Programs for Juvenile Offenders” there was a fifty percent decline in bullying activities over a period of two years in a bullying program that involved elementary and junior high students. Gang Resistance Education and Training Program in California that involves training gang related violence and juvenile delinquency has yielded incredible success. The program involves offering curriculum designed to prevent students from using delinquent behaviors...
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